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Below are some of the facts that go into determining the use of the addressing bits of an instruction.

Number of addressing modes: Sometimes an addressing mode can be indicated implicitly. In other cases, the addressing modes must be explicit, and one or more mode bits will be needed. 

Number of operands: Typical instructions on today’s machines provide for two operands. Each operand address in the instruction might require its own mode indicator, or the use of a mode indicator could be limited to just one of the address fields. 

Register versus memory: The more that registers can be used for operand references, the fewer bits are needed.

Number of register sets: One advantage of using multiple register sets is that, for a fixed number of registers, a functional split requires fewer bits to be used in the instruction. 

Address range: For addresses that reference memory, the range of addresses that can be referenced is related to the number of address bits. Because this imposes a severe limitation, direct addressing is rarely used. With displacement addressing, the range is opened up to the length of the address register. 

Address granularity: In a system with 16- or 32-bit words, an address can reference a word or a byte at the designer’s choice. Byte addressing is convenient for character manipulation but requires, for a fixed-size memory, more address bits.

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